Plus size fashion used to be the line at the back of the store that no one talked about, the brands that made it whispered about it in hushed tones, in a pitch only seasoned plus size shoppers could here but slowly, out of nowhere almost a revolution began and while some department stores still hide their plus size fashion lines away on the highest floor, out of sight, the brands have got braver, louder and prouder.
One of those at the forefront of this marketing revolution is American plus size label Lane Bryant. A fast fashion retailer with something to say and a mission within the plus size arena.
They have taken over subways and billboards and loudly reminded the rest of the world that plus size is no fad and her customers won’t be silenced any longer. For this season they decided to do this with the powerful and beautifully shot #thisbody ‘This Body‘ campaign.
A series of black and white curvaceous images and a follow up television advert to boot. The campaign has a very 90’s Calvin Klein vibe to it. All curves and lingerie, all black and white moodiness, close ups of curves and roles and some of the best plus size models in the business (Tara Lynn, Georgia Pratt, Precious Lee, Denise Bidot & Ashley Graham) proclaiming and reclaiming their bodies and how proud they are of them.
It is reminiscent of the first time Dove reminded society that all women don’t come in a standard size, except is more intense, more ‘fashion’.
It even goes as far as to show Tara Lynn breast feeding her baby, something utterly natural but in a world filled with breasts and butts, still utterly taboo.
In fact, this whole advert was seen as so taboo by two of the USA’s biggest networks ABC and NBC that they banned the advert. Ironic in a world where bodies are consistently on display and shows regularly feature nudity, sex and violence and of course there are Victoria Secret ads which are worshipped but for some reason none of this is seen as sexualised as five fuller figured models.
But while Lane Bryant maybe frustrated that their advert – now a viral sensation – has been kept off of network television, it is powerful to see brands standing up for fuller figured bodies, standing up for breast feeding, standing up for women being women and not just the projected male vision that dominates are screens. We salute you Lane Bryant.